Nicholas Stern responds to historic European Parliament vote to ratify the Paris Agreement on climate change

Posted on 4 Oct 2016 in

Welcoming the decision today by the European Parliament to ratify the Paris Agreement, Professor Lord Stern of Brentford, Chair of the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment and the ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy at the London School of Economics and Political Science, and President of the British Academy, said: “Today’s historic vote by the European Parliament, following the excellent decision by environment ministers on Friday, means that the European Union should be able to ratify the Paris Agreement this week. As 62 countries accounting for almost 52 per cent of annual global emissions of greenhouse gases have already ratified it, the European Union, which is responsible for about 12 per cent of annual emissions, will provide the trigger for bringing the Paris Agreement into force, before the start of the United Nations climate change summit in Marrakech, Morocco, starting on 7 November. It would be a tremendous achievement to complete this process within 12 months of the Paris summit last December, particularly as it required almost eight years for the Kyoto Protocol to come into force after adoption in 1997. This will provide an enormous boost in confidence for investors, particularly at a time when the world needs to ramp up its efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to have a reasonable chance of meeting the goal of holding the increase in global average temperature to well below 2 Celsius degrees above pre-industrial levels. A key reason why countries have moved so fast after Paris is that they now recognise the great attractiveness of the growth and development paths for both rich and poor countries that will result from the transition to a low-carbon economy. This momentum towards the low-carbon economy is absolutely critical as the decisions that will be taken over the next 20 years, particularly about investments in infrastructure, will determine whether the world develops sustainably and creates, for instance, cities where you can breathe and move and work productively, while also protecting the natural world that underpins our livelihoods.”

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  1. The ESRC Centre for Climate Change Economics and Policy ( is hosted by the University of Leeds and the London School of Economics and Political Science. It is funded by the UK Economic and Social Research Council ( The Centre’s mission is to advance public and private action on climate change through rigorous, innovative research.
  1. The Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment ( was launched at the London School of Economics and Political Science in October 2008. It is funded by The Grantham Foundation for the Protection of the Environment (